"On her website, Carina Round describes her second album, "The Disconnection" as "confronting things like joy, anger, pain and confusion and letting them go." Absent of a better way to describe the album, Round provides the compliment. The album is rough and raw, uptempo and slowly melodic.
The Disconnection is probably one of the best things you've heard in a good while. Round is oft compared to PJ Harvey and Patti Smith, maybe even Sinead O'Connor, but rest easy knowing that the 9-track disc is not another copy of a copy. Round combines simplistic piano melodies with random, invigorating electric guitars and a steady drum beat. That said, every song changes.
Highlights: "Into My Blood" (an uptempo song; "I wait all my life/Just for the rush/The passing of fire/Into my blood") and "Monument" (also uptempo and aggressive: "Red lights, cars zoom past/ New York had a heart attack/ Screaming into a new world" the harmonies here are beautiful) and "Lacuna" ("There's a lot to be/ Said for this morbid self-attention/ The problem lies in my external obsession/ Animal is hungry been sleeping for far too long/ Gonna fill this lacuna somehow")
Simply, this is an awesome album. Listen once, relax, then listen again and again. Let it sink in."
altmalta | Malta | 08/29/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The first thing one notices when listening to Carina Round is the similarities between her and PJ Harvey - the vocal acrobatics, the naked self-confessions and the black eyeliner. Despite these comparisons Carina does have her own distinct style, in fact I would say that The Disconnection, her second album, has an energy which, at times, surpasses Harvey. Practically each track has a manic intensity which is seen more in the Bukowski-ish and Denis Johnson like lyrics than the music. The best tracks here are Into My Blood, Motel 74 and the wonderful Sit Tight. The Disconnection is a very good album and it will be a shame if this talented artist remains undiscovered."
Carina may be Round, but she's got plenty of sharp edges to
DeafeningWhisper | Chicago-ish | 03/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I've owned this album (cd) for about 2-3 years now. The songs Into My Blood, Lacuna and Paris captured my attention and appreciation early on. I hadn't listened to the album all the way through, very often, up until more recently. After spending some more time with it, virtually every song here, or, at least major parts of every song, have gained my appreciation. I've found myself enjoying The Disconnection as a complete work, and not merely as an album you "dabble into" for a few tracks, as I had done up until recently.
About the PJ Harvey comparisons, yes.. perhaps I see some of that. In fact, that's probably where I first heard about this artist, from some PJ Harvey-related forum or forum thread. I think PJ aims more for simplifying her lyrical and musical sound as much as possible, honing these aspects down to their most vital parts. It's an aesthetic she feels most comfortable with or drawn to, maybe in part to the strong blues music upbringing she had.
On the other hand, I see Carina as having a more "jazz" like aesthetic. Not in terms of sound, but in terms of approach. Her vocals are a touch more playful, more overtly manipulative in tonality within each song (it's fun to sing along to too! well, for me "air" singing, as I couldn't get anywhere close to hitting her notes!). I also see Carina's song structures switching up, going in various directions, where you don't see as much of that from PJ, especially later in her career.
One thing I like about Carina is her songwriting style, at least from what I've heard on this album. It's not too overtly confessional, as in that "woes me, I'm in emotional pain" way. She writes with just enough ambiguity to keep trite, maudlin sentiment from creeping in. What is she singing about? It feels personal and emotional, and you do get some grasp of direct meaning from her at times, but her writing style keeps things vague, which allows the listener to create their own meaning from the songs. Evocative mystery, you might call it.
If you are the type who likes clear meaning or straight forward stories which you can easily identify and identify with, well, the songs on this album might frustrate you a bit, or keep you from embracing them too closely. But if you are more attracted to emotion, feel, vocal playfulness, and you like a bit of mystery in your music, I think this album is something you really might enjoy.
A quick word about her band. I don't know if these are long time musical collaborators with her, or mostly a set of hired guns. Whatever their case, I think the musical aspects work well in the context of the songs. It doesn't ever feel disconnected to the material, or sound like generic rock band stuff. It just fits well, I think. Softer, more nuanced when called upon, rougher and aggressive at other times.
I do with this cd was mastered better. I didn't notice it at first, but after many listens, I've noticed how "brickwalled", as they say, this cd is. In other words, at the final step before release, an audio engineer chose (or was more likely told to) bump up the digital compression/loudness, so much so that the dynamics are squashed. Everything sounds as loud as everything else; voices, drums, guitars, etc. There are times when I go to crank some songs on the cd, but I hear (digitally created) distortion and I must lower the volume as a result. So frustrating! BUT.. this is the prevailing way in which most of pop & rock music is mastered (for cd) today. EXTREMELY depressing subject to me. Google "loudness wars" if you want to learn more about what I'm complaining about. Anyway, to end this on a more positive note...
Bottom line: this is compelling music from a compelling relatively unknown artist. See her live if you get a chance. She isn't a studio creation.. she can really bring it live too!"
A true Gift from GOD!! Shes Rocks!
memo | Greece | 07/01/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After Tori Amos,Carna is my Fav artist! Shes true to herself and to music,shes Fresh and she has awesome lyrics that are no Cheesy or Corny!and all the songs have a twist at the end! I LOVE Carina! also 1st Blood is awesome 2!! Buy it NOW! Trust me shs Greater than PJ. and most of artsits around today!
Kisses 2 Carina."